Operation ‘Fall of the House of Usher’ leads to 41 meth-related arrests

Operation ‘Fall of the House of Usher’ leads to 41 meth-related arrests
An investigation entitled Operation “Fall of the House of Usher” has led to dozens of convictions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - An investigation entitled Operation “Fall of the House of Usher” has led to dozens of convictions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday.

Officials say the Organized Crime Enforcement Task Force investigation targeted the delivery of extremely potent methamphetamine to New Hanover, Duplin and Sampson counties.

“According to the DEA, the methamphetamine was so pure that some users reported consuming heroin to counterbalance the effects,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated in a news release.

The initial target of the investigation was William Usher, who imported methamphetamine from at least four separate drug trafficking organizations in California and Georgia.

In all, 41 people were charged in the operation, and 40 have pleaded guilty in federal court.

According to officials, the drug operation was responsible for the delivery and distribution of more than 50 kilograms of methamphetamine. A total of 40 firearms and more than $400,000 in currency and property have been seized.

Some of the defendants include:

  • WILLIAM USHER, 33, of Duplin County, NC.  Usher pleaded guilty  to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine, Possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, distribution of a quantity of methamphetamine (aiding and abetting) and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  Usher was sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment.
  • AARON ROBICHAUX, 37, of New Hanover County, NC, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, Possession With Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine and a Quantity of Cocaine and Felon in Possession of a Firearm. Robichaux was sentenced to 252 months’ imprisonment.
  • KEVIN WHITE, 42, of Duplin County, NC. White pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, Distribution of a Quantity of Methamphetamine, Possession With Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. White was sentenced to 132 months’ imprisonment.
  • KEVIN FAIRCLOTH, 38, of Duplin County, NC, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, Possession With Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. Faircloth was sentenced to 144 months’ imprisonment.
  • ERIC HERNANDEZ, 24, of Sampson County, NC, pleaded guilty to Possession With Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine and Conspiracy to Possess With the Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine. Hernandez was sentenced to 102 months’ imprisonment.
  • BRIAN SHOLAR, 53, of Duplin County, NC, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Possess With Intent to Distribute 500 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and Possession With Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine. Sholar was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.
  • MARCUS SPANN, 19, of South Carolina, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute 28 Grams or More of Cocaine Base (Crack) and a Quantity of Heroin, Distribution and Possession With Intent to Distribute a Quantity of Heroin and Aiding and Abetting and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. Spann was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment.
  • ERIC DUDLEY, 39, of Duplin County, NC, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and Possession With Intent to Distribute and Distribute a Quantity of Methamphetamine. Dudley was sentenced to 220 months’ imprisonment.
  • HECTOR MENOCAL-RUIZ, 28, of Duplin County, NC, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With the Intent to Distribute 5 Kilograms or More of Cocaine and Possession of a Firearm in Furtherance of a Drug Trafficking Crime. Menocal-Ruiz was sentenced to 180 months’ imprisonment.
  • DAVID GIGUIERE, 61, of Duplin County, NC, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With the Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and Distribution of a Quantity of Methamphetamine and Aiding and Abetting. Giguiere was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.
  • JAVIER MERCADO, 41, of California, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With the Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine. Mercado was sentenced to 168 months’ imprisonment.
  • JESUS RIOS, 39, of California, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute More Than 50 Grams of Methamphetamine. Rios was sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.
  • JULIO NAJERA, 26, of Sampson County, NC, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Distribute and Possess With Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine, Distribution of 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine and Possession With Intent to Distribute 50 Grams or More of Methamphetamine. Najera was sentenced to 144 months’ imprisonment.

The remaining defendants are scheduled to be sentenced over the course of the next few months.

Copyright 2020 WECT. All rights reserved.